Fibromyalgia Pain is Better Understood

June 10, 2008 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Fibromyalgia Pain is Better Understood
Those struggling with fibromyalgia know that they can get a large flare up of pain doing activities that many people consider normal or routine, including exercise. A new study explains that the nature of this problem has been identified as an increased subconscious brain1 processing of pain stimuli – like making a mountain out of a molehill.

Due to current and past painful experiences, whether emotional or physical, your subconscious brain can have its pain-related circuitry improperly re-programmed. Once this happens to you then you are at risk for moderate inflammatory issues being processed as a more intense painful event.

Common examples of mild inflammation include emotional stress, cellular stress (fatigue), and muscle use (physical performance above a baseline of routine). Under normal circumstances your nervous system would manage these “painful” stimuli as minor events and deal with them accordingly. In fibromyalgia these minor events are treated by the subconscious system as more intense painful events, a failure in perception that is reinforced by an exaggerated pain response. The longer a person wrestles with this problem, the more likely it is that the “plasticity” of the nerve circuits involved have been physically altered to process minor inflammatory input and treat them as more significant pain problems (it becomes more of a "hardware" problem than a "software" problem).

Excessive Substance P, your body's pain neuropeptide, is the source of this problem. Nourishing your nerves and discharging substance P is an important task for any person who would like to get through life without as much difficulty. Managing this problem well for a number of months helps the subconscious pain system cool down from its overheated state. Once this happens then the grip of fibromyalgia over a person's quality of life is significantly improved.

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ The Nature of Fibromylagia Pain  CNS Spectrums  Staud R, Spaeth M.

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